Chicken-N-Beer at Black Star Co-op

 
 
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 08.23.13
 
While it’s hardly a surprise to me given their track record, Black Star Co-op does a journeyman’s job with fried chicken. Their $7 snack is two petite legs and wings from Holmes Foods, an operation 70 miles southeast of Austin in Gonzales.
 
It’s honey-glazed with lemon highlights and knobs of crackled skin and breading in patches up and down the bones. A little sour, a little sweet, like an Asian twist on a farmhouse classic. The natural pairing was a glowing ginger ale from Hitachino Nest ($7), a limited-time guest tap from Japan. I had this beer in a bottle at Qui, where it was the first responder on the scene of a fiery hot pork blade steak. On draft, its hard edges are a little softer, rounded like its toasted honey color. The ginger is unmistakable, with a starburst of astringent heat to work around the chicken’s crackled-fat character.
 
The backup was a goblet of Old Sour Dewberry ($6), a golden brown Black Star creation inspired by members Dan and Joelle Dewberry, who’ve won a few awards for this of-the-moment style. The moment is a balance of fruit and malt with a puckering chaser of sour mash. Refreshing and not too funky for newcomers to the form. (When those limited-time players aren’t around, a cold glass of Black Star’s half-sour Waterloo wheat will get the job done.)
 
A second opinion on this after-work indulgence? The honeybee landing in equal turns on all three.
 
Black Star Co-op
7020 Easy Wind Drive in the Midtown Commons center at Airport and North Lamar boulevards.
512-452-2337, 
www.blackstar.coop.
Hours: 4pm-midnight Sun-Thu and 4pm-1am Fri-Sat. Open for lunch 11am-4pm Fri-Sun.
 
(TOP: Black Star’s Old Sour Dewberry, left, and Hitachino Nest ginger brew. Black Star’s chicken snack is $7 for two legs and two thighs. Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)